Although training camp is still over a month away for the Pacers as a team, a few Pacers are scheduled to be training with their respective National Teams starting next week.
On Thursday afternoon, Canada Basketball announced the 15 athletes participating in the Canadian Men’s National Team training camp, which begins on August 22 in Victoria, British Columbia and will prepare the team for the fourth window of FIBA Basketball 2023 World Cup Qualifiers set to take place at the end of August.
Among the names listed is Oshae Brissett, who previously committed to play for Canada during the three-year cycle leading up to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Fifteen athletes participating in Senior Men’s National Team training camp ahead fourth window of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers.— Canada Basketball (@CanBball) August 18, 2022
Read more:https://t.co/pJhhx4YFZh#WinForCanada | #CanadaBasketball pic.twitter.com/gXGXgVUIND
Per release — Jamal Murray, RJ Barrett, Khem Birch, Dillon Brooks, and Lu Dort are planning to be in attendance for camp, furthering Canada’s adjusted approach to emphasize continuity, but aren’t playing. That means head coach Nick Nurse and staff will be selecting 12 players from the remainder of the preliminary roster, including Brissett and fellow NBA players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk, and Dwight Powell.
In this window, Canada is competing in Group E, which includes Venezuela, Argentina, Panama, the Bahamas, and Dominican Republic, with games against Argentina on August 25th in Victoria, and against Panama on August 29th in Panama City, Panama.
Meanwhile, Chris Duarte is not only among the headliners on the preliminary 25-man roster that was announced by the Dominican Republic but is also expected to solidify his commitment and make his international debut in games next week, when his country takes on Panama and Venezuala in the same group as Canada.
Puerto Plata’s native and Indiana Pacers member Chris Duarte will play with Dominican Republic’s national basketball team next month in a @FIBA ‘s tournament. @C_Duarte5 confirmed it to @ElCaribeRD and @CDN37— Yancen Pujols (@YancenPujols) July 25, 2022
Dominican Republic confirm that Chris Duarte is set to make his international debut in the August #FIBAWC Qualifiers— FIBA Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) July 26, 2022
vs Panama (25 August)
vs Venezuela (29 August)#WinForAll | #WinForDominicana | @FedombalRD pic.twitter.com/KKZkzPGUkf
Although his first year as a pro was cut short by a toe injury that sidelined him for the final 12 games of the season, Duarte returned to action last month in Las Vegas with the Pacers Summer League team, playing one-and-done in the opener against Charlotte, while showcasing his composure and appearing physically stronger.
As for Buddy Hield, after already competing (and shining) for the Bahamas in the first round of qualifying in June, word is that he plans to represent his country again during the August window of the second round, alongside Kai Jones and almost-Pacer Deandre Ayton.
Coach Mo confirms that Buddy Hield, Kai Jones & Deandre Ayton will play next week against Venezuela pic.twitter.com/Jjrv25Lgtz— TIMMAY ™ (@Timmaaay_) August 14, 2022
In the second round, each team plays home-and-away games against the three new teams in their group over three windows in August, November, and February, with two games per team being played in each window. At the conclusion of those six games per team, the top three teams in each group, plus the best fourth team, will qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
Altogether, 12 teams are competing for seven spots allotted to the Americas. Here’s the current rankings for Group E, with first round results carrying over to the second round:
- Canada, 6-0
- Venezuela, 5-1
- Argentina, 5-1
- Dominican Republic, 4-2
- Panama, 2-4
- Bahamas, 2-4
Team USA (5-1) is in Group F with Brazil (5-1), Uruguay (4-2), Mexico (4-2), Puerto Rico (3-3) and Colombia (2-4). As it pertains to games that could potentially include Brissett, Duarte, or Hield, the schedule is as follows:
Thursday, August 25:
- Bahamas vs. Venezuela, 8:00 PM EST
- Dominican Republic vs. Panama, 8:10 PM EST
- Canada vs. Argentina, 10:40 PM EST
Monday, August 29:
- Venezuela vs. Dominican Republic, 6:10 PM EST
- Panama vs. Canada, 8:10 PM EST
- Argentina vs. Bahamas, 8:40 PM EST
With regard to FIBA EuroBasket 2022, Goga Bitadze, whose home country of Georgia is set to play host to part of the big event, has yet to appear in any of the preparatory games, including the Acropolis Cup hosted this week in Greece, despite being named to the roster.